Photography Has Ruined Portraiture


There is absolutely nothing wrong with this portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, and the carping and the complaining remind me of how photography has really killed the painted portrait as a medium.

No one is ever satisfied with a painting because it fails in almost every respect; it doesn't "look" like the subject because we are inundated with photos (many of them doctored or submitted after review) that show the subjects in the best possible light. Painting is a dead and dying medium because photography trains the human eye to expect perfection. In painting, the imperfections and "cheats" are what render the details.

Portraits such as this one are not meant to be scrutinized as closely as they are and this one in particular uses the contrast of white and blue extremely well. I love the techniques used here and, let's be honest--the subject matter that is most important is that of the dogs; the Queen doesn't care what she looks like. She cares about her dogs and since this one favors them, I would be willing to bet that this one will be her favorite.